Treatment for watering eye depends on how severe the problem is and what is causing it. Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases.
If infective conjunctivitis is causing watering eye, the ophthalmologist may advise you to wait for a week or so to see if the condition resolves itself before prescribing a course of antibiotics.
If allergic conjunctivitis is causing watering eye, antihistamines may be prescribed to help reduce the inflammation (swelling).
If the cause is an inward-growing eyelash (entropion) or a foreign object (such as a piece of grit) in your eye, the eyelash or object can be removed.
If your lower eyelid turns outwards (ectropion), a minor operation under general anaesthetic may be recommended. The most common procedure involves tightening the tendon that holds the outer eyelid in place to give it extra support.
Blocked tear ducts can be treated with surgery.
Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a common surgical procedure used to treat blocked tear ducts. It involves creating a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of your nose. This allows tears to bypass the blocked part of your tear duct.
If your canaliculi (the drainage channels on the inside of your eye) are narrowed but not completely blocked, it may be possible to use a probe to widen them. If the canaliculi are completely blocked by tears, an operation to drain them may be required.
Treating watering eye in babies
In babies, watering eye often resolves itself within a few weeks without treatment. If a sticky liquid forms around your baby’s eyes, remove it using a piece of cotton wool that has been soaked in sterile water (water that has been boiled and then cooled).
Massaging the tear ducts may help dislodge tears that have collected in the upper part of your baby’s tear duct, as well as encouraging the tear duct to develop. This can be done by applying light pressure with your finger and thumb to the outside of your baby’s nose.